She told us all about BuBakes...
When did you first start cake decorating? In 2014, I had a mental health breakdown and I discovered purely by accident that cake decorating calmed me. It gave me a focus and I seemed to zone out while playing with fondant, which helped ease my anxiety and even lessened my panic attacks. It was a chance discovery as I had no idea I had any creative talent, but from that chance my company BuBakes was born – it just shows you never know what’s around the corner! Where did you learn your cake decorating skills? I am self taught and have developed through lots of practicing and trying out techniques to see if they work. I often refer to magazines such as Cake Decorating Heaven for tips, and Pinterest is a fabulous place to hunt for step by step tutorials for free. I am a member of various social media groups and have found people so helpful if I ask for advice, I am also a member of the Paul Bradford Sugar School and love watching his tutorials for carved cakes, my favourite recreation so far was a Bentley – it was so much fun to work on! How would you sum up your style? I love detail, the tiny fiddly bits that really give another dimension to a cake. I like to work on colourful cakes, and also creating edible decorations that give my clients a “wow, that’s edible?!” moment. How would you describe your day to day life running your business? Varied! Running your own business can be trying, dealing with so many elements. Luckily for me the main part of my cake decorating business involves me doing something that largely calms me, it truly is a daily form of therapy for me. Which one of your recipes is your favourite? My favourite recipe is for edible soil. It is so simple and SO effective! There are lots of ways to do this, but the recipe I use is the quickest and the simplest. Simply add 100g caster sugar to 2 tbsp. water and heat until the sugar has dissolved. When the edges start to turn yellow remove the pan from the heat and whisk in (with a wire whisk) 75g chopped chocolate. That’s it, you’re done! What is your usual process? Are you quite cool and calm or is it organised mess? I’m quite good at multi-tasking, but I try not to be too controlling with my schedule as I want to allow my creativity space to come through. I was stuck on how to answer this and so I asked Mr. BuBakes who told me I’m a bit of both – it seems I always seem calm, but there is a hint of the organized mess bubbling just below the surface! What are your top three essentials you have with you in the kitchen?
- My Kitchen Aid mixer
She is empire red and called Betty, I fully admit that I greet her every morning when I walk into my kitchen!
- My Agbay cutter
I went back and forth over whether to get one for months as they are a big investment, but it was worth every penny. It not only makes levelling cakes a breeze, but also gives such clean finishes.
- My marble rolling pin.
It always stays cool which makes rolling out fondant so much easier, there is nothing worse than a rolling pin that constantly sticks to your fondant or leaves marks on it. Where do you get your inspiration from? Oh goodness, inspiration really is everywhere. My time nosing through magazines and on Pinterest helps, I also find myself looking around me and wondering how I could make random objects out of cake or sugar – the possibilities are endless! What are your top tips for a beginner? Play, play, play. You have to have fun with it while you hone your skills. The great thing about cakes and cake decorating is that there is never a lack of people to give your attempts to – people LOVE to receive cakey treats! There are lots of local classes around where you can go to have a play and pick up some tips. I run classes occasionally and love seeing how surprised people are at how much they can achieve, sometimes all you need is a little guidance and someone having faith in your abilities. What are you plans for the future? I am loving that my commissions are becoming more unique and detailed, and I can’t wait to see what creations I can conjure up with my fabulous clients. I am still very much rebuilding my life following my breakdown, and I am enjoying building my business at the same time as building myself – it’s a big but wonderful chapter to be working through. Alongside my cakes, I also write about mental health as I am dedicated to increasing awareness and communication about the impact it has on so many of us. I have a blog on my website and am working on a book that I am incredibly excited about. Oh, and of course I look forward to working with Cake Decorating Heaven, but that’s a given! Some of Liz's favorite cakes so far: